Current business situation
Libya is ranked 188 for doing business in 2015 by the World Bank Group. Libya is beginning to offer prospects for investment in oil refineries and infrastructure construction. Companies must be wary of the Libyan law as it can seem ambiguous so it is best to coordinate with a local council member.
It is strongly advised not to invest into Libya at present, due to the civil unrest and multiple active terrorist groups controlling regions of the area. Most diplomatic missions and international organisations have withdrawn staff from Libya due to security concerns. Be aware that the Australian government’s ability to provide consular assistance to Australians in Libya remains extremely limited.
In business dealings, personal relationships are crucial to establish trust and rapport with a potential buyer in Libya. Libyans can be fierce negotiators, although price is often not the sole issue that they base decision upon. It is important to highlight the quality of your product as much as the price and to frame the sales message delicately.
English is often understood, though government policy is that all official documents are in Arabic (or translated into Arabic) and that official business is conducted in Arabic.
It is worth noting that appointments are necessary and business cards are useful, although not widely used.
Links and resources
Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.